We are always captivated by dark magic, historical places, caves, and drawings on the walls. It is only natural because no matter what we become, the tales of our ancestors and stories of the yesteryear are going to fascinate us always. Since the beginning, humans have been cavemen. We have followed the stars to guide us and rituals to mend our pains and sorrows. A similar supernatural phenomenon takes place in Disney+ Hotstar’s latest mystery thriller series, “Dahan: Raakan Ka Rahasya.” It may not be perfect, but it delivers a terrific message towards the end. It says both superstition and science were meant to remove fear from humans, but they have often been used to generate fear. We may not believe the legends, but anything eerie still piques our interest. Alone at night we fear caves, but we call it an adventure when in a group. There’s more to it than we know. “Dahan: Raakan Ka Rahasya,” on the other hand, doesn’t answer a lot of questions, but it makes up for that by being very exciting.
The Mythology In Season 1
The story is set in Shilaspura, a village in Rajasthan. In ancient times, there was a king who ruled the lands of Shilaspura. The king was about to die when his sons started a fight for the throne. On the one hand, there were five cousins, known as the Karapali; there were 50 men who were later regarded as Nikasiya. Because the Karapali had a lesser army, Nikasiya was about to win the battle. However, Karapali had one thing that could win them the war. Their eldest sibling was Ridhiyakan, Vayusen’s son. Now, Ridhiyakan’s mother, Haadika, was a demon, so he was a sorcerer himself. The king at that time never accepted the relationship between Haadika and Vayusen. Unfortunately, the mother and the son were living on the outskirts of the village. But, when the time came to fight for the family, Haadika reminded Ridhiyakan of his duty to help them.
When Ridhiyakan came to the battlefield, even though the Nikasiyans’ army was ten times larger, they all fell apart. Ridhiyakan had the power to control the minds of humans. Whatever he possessed with his power of illusion became Raakan. These Raakans were not fighting the war, instead they started to fight among themselves. This made Ridhiyakan very happy. The Karapali realized that Ridhikyan lacked the emotional qualities of a human after they saw him smile looking at the bloodbath he had created. Hence, they took him as evil. After winning the war, the Karapalis decided to kill Ridhiyakan before he could kill them for the throne. So, they performed rituals to please their deity and beheaded Ridhiyakan with a blade made of grass. Even after the beheading, Ridhiyakan kept shouting, seeking help from his mother. Everyone feared that Haadika would destroy the entire clan if she knew about this. So, they kept the head inside a rock and swore that they would worship it to calm him down for the rest of their lives. This tradition has been followed by generations after generations. The Karapali swore to protect the village. To do that, they worship the rock, and sometimes, when a Raakan is mistakenly created, they behead him. It is said that when a Raakan would sacrifice five human lives, Haadika would come for his son, Ridhiyakan, and then there would be a catastrophe.
‘Dahan Raakan Ka Rahasya,’ Season 1: Story: What Happens In The Series?
Avani Raut (Tisca Chopra), IAS, is accused of bribing and forcing her husband, Karun, to commit suicide. She is suspended from her post and sent to a distant location to serve for the rest of her career. Later, she came to her superior demanding to handle the mining situation in Shilaspura. Mangon Corporation had found the rarest minerals that could revolutionize the whole industry. Avani was posted there, but some incidents have started taking place since her arrival. Swaroop (Saurabh Shukla), the head of the village, tried to warn them not to open the mines for the sake of humanity. He told them about the Shilasthal (where the rock is kept) and what would happen to it if the mine was opened. Avani didn’t pay any heed to their beliefs and went on to blast the mines open. The earthquake caused by the blast cracked the rock at Shilasthal. Swaroop knew danger was looming large.
Soon, we see an accident where two workers were struck in the mine. Among them, Avani managed to save one worker named Mangal. But Mangal had already become a Raakan and was now searching for humans to sacrifice. One by one, he managed to kill five human lives, resulting in the arrival of Haadika. It was disclosed later that Avani was possessed by Haadika all along, and she avenged the death of her son, Ridhiyakan, by making everyone in the village a Raakan. Swaroop, on the other hand, quickly discovered this and helped her by releasing from Haadika’s possession. Ridhiyakan’s body was kept separately, but right under his head. It was in a cave under the Shilasathal. Later, Avani’s son Anay (Rohan Joshi) told her that only by burning all the supreme herbs that covered the cave could they calm Ridhiyakan once and for all. They did that, and everyone was relieved. Avani and her son left the village, sealing off the mine forever.
‘Dahan Raakan Ka Rahasya’ Ending Explained – How Did They Stop The Pathogen From Spreading? Who Killed Bhawani Bhaisa?
Avani’s friend Sandeep specialized in microbiology and was the first to discover that the whole Raakan thing was happening because of a new kind of virus. Dr. Kaushik Arora studied the brains of the affected and found that this new pathogen directly affects the amygdala. So, the part of the brain responsible for fear stops working immediately. This triggers chaos, and they start to kill. The pathogen also destroys the blood cells that carry it. It deoxygenates the blood way too fast, resulting in black blood in the body. What the villagers believed was the illusion of Ridhiyakan, while the science-minded people thought it was some kind of pathogen released from the mine that affected the human cells. Also, it only enters through the cuts in the human body. So, if you have had no recent cuts, there is nothing the pathogen could do. Now, what is the truth? Is it Ridhiyakan’s illusion or a newly discovered pathogen?
Obviously, it’s the pathogen. There were numerous hints to support this. Let’s go back to the time when the series actually began. It was 1989, when an unapproved (by the Govt. at that time) inspection by Mangon Corporation was conducted. A father went in with his daughter into the caves. There they found the mineral, but in the process, the daughter was injured. She cut her hand. Later, she became a Raakan and was beheaded by a Karapali. Cut to the present, we saw Mangal cut himself and turn into a Raakan. Later, when Mangal attacked one of the police officers, he got a cut too. Guess what? He, too, became a Raakan. Also, when Sandeep continued his investigation into the newly found pathogen, he discovered a huge source in the caves, right beneath the Shilasthal. By looking at it, it seemed that some sort of gas was coming out from the rock. If it was any illusion or something, there’s not enough evidence to support why it starts growing only after a cut in the human body. But, if we take it as a pathogen, everything makes sense.
One can argue why this never happened before, as the pathogen and the rock have always been there. The entire incident can be deemed as a repeated phenomenon . Like in 1989, whoever entered the cave and cut themselves became a Raakan. They were beheaded by the Karpalis. But anyway, some might question as to why Mangal became normal soon after Pramukh Swaroop lit up the “Akhand Jyoti” in the Shilasthal. Well, I’m not saying that you have to agree with my theory, but I think it’s highly plausible. We saw the cave covered with herbs that could calm Ridhiyakan down if burnt. The cave was right beneath the Shilasthal. Now, the process of lighting up the Akhand Jyoti is indeed tricky. Swaroop places the burning coal on a plate. This triggers the fire, and the Akhand Jyoti takes place. The fire somehow calibrates the amount of heat that burns some of the herbs in the cave, emitting its scent into the air. Since the pathogen can be contained by the gas generated from the burning of the herbs, Mangal somehow smelled the odor, and the pathogen became weak for a while. We also know that Raakans love to sniff around, hinting that they have a tremendous power to smell something from a distance. The Akhand Jyoti in the evening helped to destroy the pathogen released by the stone all day long. This justifies the controlled effects of the pathogen until the arrival of Avani.
Now, why was Avani unharmed by it? Well, it wasn’t just her. Sandeep, too, was untouched by it. He died of severe injury or exhaustion in the cave. He showed no marks of Raakan. The main reason was not Avani’s being the chosen one or whatever. There can be two theories. One is a bit superstitious, and the other one is purely scientific. I will go with the scientific one first, making the ending a bit spooky. Avani and Sandeep were immune to the pathogen, as simple as that. It is not necessary for all to be affected by some micro-beings. It happened to all of us only recently. Some of us were immune to the coronavirus from the beginning. Were we the chosen ones? I guess not. Anay was Avani’s son, so there was always a 50-50 chance for him to survive. It’s only biological. Now for the superstitious one. The outsiders were Avani, Anay, and Sandeep. If Ridhiyakan exists, we can assume that it has caged the villagers of Shilaspura. Nobody can get out of the curse. So, it only affects the villagers. Although, believing that Ridhiyakan exists is something the show did not offer. It balanced science and superstition very sharply. After knowing how much the villagers believed in Ridhiyakan, it is only natural to think that he is there.
For the killing of Bhawani Bhaisa, it was evident that Renu, his wife, was not happy with how he behaved with her. She took advantage of the situation. She acted like she was bewitched by Ridhiyakan and killed Bhawani Bhaisa. She left some elements from the Shilasthal so that they doubted that Swaroop is the one who killed him. Because only he had access to such elements in Shilasthal. Anyway, her main intention was to end the torture she or the women like her had to face. They were brought to the Shilasthal and tortured again and again in the name of removing the souls possessed by their bodies. She planned to kill Bhawani and remove Swaroop from the scene. As it was Swaroop who conducted the rituals of removing souls from the bodies of the women,
Final Words: Will There Be A ‘Dahan: Raakan Ka Rahasya’ Season 2?
Maybe. We see Avani making up for her failed relationship with his son, Anay. There is still a lot of romance left between Anay and Rani. Swaroop is dead, though. Every significant character is dead except for Avani and Anay. We will only know if there are any plans for “Dahan: Raakan Ka Rahasya” Season 2 after its announcement. There’s no cliffhanger hinting at that.
‘Dahan Raakan Ka Rahasya’ is a mystery thriller streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.